4 Things You Need to Know About Creating a Marketing Strategy for Your Mobile App

You've done the research and now you've decided that having a mobile friendly website is no longer adequate. It's time to build an app. Alternately, you may have a great idea for a free standing app. In either case, this is no doubt a good decision. Apps are proven winners for a variety of reasons including:

  • Providing an improved customer experience
  • Increasing Customer Recognition
  • Increasing Customer Loyalty
  • Creating New Direct Marketing Opportunities

Now that you have made your decision, you have a lot of work to do. Obviously, there are a ton of decisions to be made regarding design and development. The most challenging task, however, is probably going to be creating the marketing strategy for your newly minted app. How are you going to motivate people to download your app, pay for it (maybe), use it, and engage in discussions about it? Work on your marketing strategy should ideally begin when the design phase begins because these two elements (design and marketing strategy) will influence one another. If this is your first foray into marketing a mobile app, here are a few things that might help you tackle the learning curve.

   1. You Will Need to Focus on Re-engagement

The convenience and speed at which mobile apps can be downloaded and installed is a great thing. Unfortunately, apps can also be deleted quickly and easily. In fact, half of the customers who download an app when required for making a purchase, will simply delete the app when they have completed the transaction. Out of the half that does keep the app, there is no guarantee that they will use it again. This is problematic when developing an app marketing strategy. Mobile website marketing efforts are largely focused on engagement. Mobile app marketing efforts have to focus both on engagement and re-engagement. Re-engagement is the action you will take to get the customers who have deleted your app to download it again, and keep it installed. You can try one of the following actions to provide this incentive to your users:

  • Provide Incentives Such as Discounts to Install the App Again or Resume Using It
  • Highlight the Ongoing Benefits of the App
  • Judiciously Using Push Notifications
  • Using Deep Linking in Advertising and Email Marketing

2.  Understanding App Store Optimization (ASO) Will be Fundamental

Just like search engine optimization improves the likelihood of your website being found in search engine results pages, App Store Optimization improves the likelihood of your app being found by users searching the app store. Some of the things you know about SEO also apply to ASO. For example, using keywords in your app name (title) is important, as are they keywords you use in your description. You will also have new things to consider. The first is that optimizing your description is a bit more complex. You must remember that people browsing the app store will only see the first few lines of your description. This means you will want to make those first few lines to be full of good content and fairly keyword rich. You'll also want to consider your icon. You want to design something that catches the eye, but also represents the functionality of your app. Obviously, if your app is associated with your e-Commerce website, you will want your icon to reflect your existing branding.

  3. If Purchased Advertising Isn't an Option You will Have to Promote Via Social Media

In fact, even if you do opt for some paid advertising, you should still leverage social media to get the word out about your app. For one the thing, that's where your target customer is. Participation in social media is one of the most common actions users take when on their mobile device. Here are several steps you can take to get your app noticed by creating social media engagement.

  • Create a video showcasing the features of your app
  • Start a blog and attach it to a microsite you've created for your app
  • Contact websites that specialize in reviewing apps and ask them for reviews
  • Create a hashtag marketing campaign that gives people an incentive to download your app and share your posts about it on social media
  • Promote your app and related content on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media websites
  • Let other bloggers in your niche know about your app. Ask them if they would consider providing feedback
  • Push your app in your email marketing efforts
  • Actively engage with customers who are discussing your app. Make an especially dedicated effort to resolve customer service issues politely and quickly.
  • Build a feature into the app that allows for social media interaction directly from the app
  • Add new content to your blog on a regular basis.

4. You'll Need to Measure the Right Things to Determine the Effectiveness of Your Efforts

As mentioned above, downloads aren't a reliable measure. You'll have to focus on retention. Of course, even that isn't the whole picture. You also want to know how people are using your app, which features are being used the most, which features are largely being ignored, and whether or not your app is being shared by your customers. The good news is that there are tools that can help you perform this analyses.